Graduate school is more or less what I expected: busy. However, I’m enjoying it very much. While I enjoy the classes that I’m taking I much prefer the classes that I’m teaching. Not that I’m a better teacher than my professors, I just really enjoy teaching. I teach two sections of Spanish 105 and the vast majority of my students are freshmen. That means that while I can still remember the 80’s, they were born in the 90’s. I realize that being 25 does not make me old, but age is definitely relative and I’ve felt a little old lately.
A fellow Spanish teacher approached me today and asked me how to say “awkward” in Spanish. I told her that I didn’t think there was an exact word and the closest I could come to saying awkward would be to say incómodo (uncomfortable). I overheard her ask a native Spanish speaker the same question and she recommended that my friend use the word extraño (weird/strange). I personally feel that my word is more appropriate. However, if I’m ever asked that question again, instead of answering by simply saying a word I’ll respond by sharing a story such as the one that happened to me tonight.
Tonight was BYU’s annual Fall Fest. That includes free food, dancing, magic show, laser tag, and salsa dancing. I generally feel like I outgrew dances about six years ago, but I went to Fall Fest anyway. You know, for the free food. Within five minutes of being at Fall Fest I spotted four of my students. I reacted by pretending not to see them as I figured that they were probably not too interested in hanging out with their teacher whose seven years their senior. One girl was only feet from me and she obviously saw me, but was polite enough to simply ignore me as well. With the risk level of feeling like a peer to freshmen being extremely high, I told my friends that I had gone with that I wanted to leave and we left.
Seeing my students and other freshmen at Fall Fest reminded me of being at an EFY dance. Something I’m definitely too old for. I felt uncomfortable, strange, and weird. I felt awkward.